Ethiopia officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million populations, and the tenth largest by area, occupying 1.1million km2. Ethiopia is bordered by Eritrea to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With its capital at Addis Ababa, it is also the most populous landlocked nation in the world.
Ethiopian dynasty traces its roots to the 2nd century BC. Ethiopia is also one of the oldest sites of human existence known to scientists today, having yielded some of humanity's oldest traces. It may be the region from which Homo sapiens first set out for the Middle East and points beyond. Alongside Rome, China and Persia, the Ethiopian Aksum Empire was considered one of the four great world powers of the 3rd century. During the Scramble for Africa, Ethiopia was the only African country beside Liberia that retained its sovereignty as a recognized independent country, and was one of only four African members of the League of Nations. After a brief period of Italian occupation, Ethiopia became a charter member of the United Nations. When other African nations received their independence following World War II, many of them adopted the colors of Ethiopia's flag, and Addis Ababa became the location of several international organizations focused on Africa.
Ethiopia is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), G-77 and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). Today, Addis Ababa is still the headquarters of the African Union, the Pan African Chamber of Commerce (PACCI) and UNECA. The country has one of the most powerful militaries in Africa and Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the continental African Standby Force (ASF) and also it’s the only African country where an indigenous alphabet is still widely used. Ethiopia also has its own time system and unique calendar, seven to eight years behind the Gregorian calendar. It has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa.
The country is a land of natural contrasts, with waterfalls and volcanic hot springs. Ethiopia has some of Africa's highest mountains as well as some of the world's lowest points below sea level. The largest cave in Africa is located in Ethiopia at Sof-Omar. Ethiopia has one of the largest numbers of rivers in the world while the country's northernmost area at Dallol, Afar is the hottest place year-round anywhere on Earth. Ethiopia is a multilingual, multicultural and multiethnic society of around 80 ethnic groups, with the two largest being the Oromo and the Amhara, both of which speak Afro-Asiatic languages. The country is also famous for its Olympic gold medalists in running, rock-hewn churches in Lalibela, and as the place where the coffee bean originated. Currently,
Ethiopia is the top coffee and honey producing country in Africa, and home to the largest livestock population in Africa. The Ethiopian Aksum region was the first major empire in the world to convert to Christianity and it was one of the first countries to officially adopt Christianity as a state religion in the 4th century. Ethiopia has a Christian majority and a third of the population is Muslim. Ethiopia is the site of the first hijra in Islamic history and the oldest Muslim settlement in Africa at Negash.